Monday, March 04, 2024

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MARY CAROLAN
Irishtimes.com

The owners of the Ballymascanlon House Hotel in Co Louth have taken a legal action for damages against internet giant Google alleging defamation of the hotel’s business and reputation via Google’s web search service.
It is alleged Google had permitted, since about March 14th 2011, the term “receivership” to automatically appear after the hotel’s trading name when a search is carried out in the autocomplete suggestions in the search bar. This suggested the hotel was in receivership or financial difficulty when it was not, the plaintiffs claim.

New Stalking Bill To Stop Internet Stalking, Online Harassment and Social Networking Bullying

The new Stalking Bill might bring some good news to the tens of thousands of good, innocent people who find themselves victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying every year.

The new Stalking Bill must take account of the fact that internet stalking, harassment and bullying have become such an epidemic in recent months, with some people being driven to committing suicide because they cannot take the pressure and the shame any longer.

The police is almost powerless to help victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying because of the high costs of such investigations, as well as the costs of the extended legal process which the police is required to undergo prior to even being able to commence a serious investigation.

Ask any police officer who has got some experience in such matters and they will tell you that identification of the suspects of internet stalking, harassment and bullying constitutes a major stumbling block in even commencing an investigation. It is very difficult to investigate anything on the internet without knowing who you are investigating and without having a right to even basic access to the evidence, or, in many cases with very restricted access to the ‘crime scene’.

The new Stalking Bill should make access to identifying details of internet users who are engaged in online stalking, harassment and bullying much easier than it is at the moment.

At present, the state of the internet is one of complete anarchy. Social networking sites, blogs, forums and discussion groups are attracting ‘online rioters’ of the worst kind who (quite rightly) believe that there are no consequences to their actions.
They hide behind a veil of anonymity knowing that it will be almost impossible (especially to a vulnerable victim) to ever smoke them out. Anarchy spreads fast, so it is not surprising that we are now seeing an increase in the number of victims of internet stalking , harassment and bullying.

The new Stalking Bill is a golden opportunity for the Government to start controlling and to possibly, dramatically reduce the number of incidents of internet stalking, harassment and bullying that are devastating the lives of innocent people and their families every single day. The new Stalking Bill is an opportunity for the government to introduce ‘Online Social Responsibility’, by making access to details of those who commit these terrible acts of internet stalking, harassment and bullying, easier.

Just as with the case of the London Rioters, once the internet anarchists realise that there are in fact consequences to their antisocial behaviour and that they can be smoked out and brought in shame to justice, the number of victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying will be reduced dramatically.

In fact, many victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying will be hoping that the government will go even further with the future Stalking Bill to make access to personal details of online stalkers easier, quicker and cheaper, not just for the police but also for regular members of the public who are victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying. The Stalking Bill should help to create a system for obtaining Identification Orders which will help victims resolve their matters through the civil courts without the need to pay expensive legal fees and without taking valuable resources away from the police.

Yair Cohen

 
 

A cease and desist letter can easily backfire if it is written without fully understanding the law and the legal liabilities of the parties involved. But more importantly a badly drafted cease and desist letter may have serious consequences in terms of PR, marketing and online reputation management of the organisation.

For example, a cease and desist letter  can tremendously damage the reputation and the marketing efforts of a hotel,  particularly if the recipient decides to publish the cease and desist letter on the internet.

A cease and desist letter

When writing a cease and desist letter you therefore must choose your language carefully and pay extra attention to the style and to the tone of your letter. You also need to select your vocabulary very carefully and always adhere to principles of good customer care, even if you are threatening with legal action.

Customers who find on the internet a cease and desist letter that was sent by a hotel in response to an unfavourable review, might be reluctant to trust and visit that establishment.

A good ceased desist letter, in addition to the legal requirements that it needs to adhere to, might also include details of the efforts made by the hotel to resolve the issue complained of and it might even offer further good will.

By: Yair Cohen

Read more about writing an effective Cease and Desist Letter.

via Cease and Desist Letter.

 
 

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